Water is the basis of all life, yet water management remains a complex challenge; planners face problems from too much water, too little water, contaminated water and water in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Any given location can suffer from all these problems, sometimes in a single year. Changing climate, environmental degradation, human population growth and concentration in urban environments, are all contributing to water shortages and increasing concern over future supplies. Protected areas already provide many communities with reliable and well-regulated sources of clean water. Yet these services are often unrecognised or under-valued. Meeting the rising demand for water will require better coordination among water utilities, planners, watershed managers, protected area agencies and communities to ensure recognition and support for intact ecosystems, including forests and wetlands, which maintain sustainable water supplies.